Under 21? Fred Meyer says no to selling you a gun or ammunition

Grocery chain Kroger entered the national gun conversation Thursday, announcing it was raising the age limit for guns and ammunition sales at its Fred Meyer stores.

Fred Meyer sells guns at 43 of its 133 stores in the Northwest, including  Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Oregon.

The grocer said that at those 43 stores, shoppers seeking guns or ammunition would face a background check to verify age. Those under 21 would not be allowed to purchase either.

The Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, contributed to Kroger's decision.

"In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we've taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales," Kroger said Thursday in its statement.

"Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers."

The company hasn't sold assault-style rifles at Fred Meyer locations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington for years and is now ending special orders for those guns in Alaska.

The company's decision is in line with earlier announcements made this week by Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods, which also are raising the age buying limit for guns at their stores.

Expect more changes as Fred Meyer sites undergo "robust" changes through its "Restock Kroger" program.

According to Kroger's statement: "As we refresh stores we are often transitioning gun departments due to softer demand and changing customer preferences."